former British ambassador sentenced to one year in prison

The coup junta moved up the hearing after accusing Vicky Bowman and her husband Htein Lin of violating immigration laws. In July, the UK’s chargé d’affaires was expelled. Today, another visit to Russia by General Min Aung Hlaing.

Yangon ( / Agencies) – Tomorrow the court hearing of the former British ambassador to Myanmar, Vicky Bowman, and her husband, Htein Lin, was to take place. However, the coup board brought forward the sentence and on September 3 sentenced them both to one year in prison.

The couple, after being arrested on August 24, were accused of violating immigration laws: Bowman would have “stayed in a house in the municipality of Kalaw, in Shan state, instead of living in the address in Rangoon that he had provided to the authorities”, In addition, her husband would not have reported her stay.

The arrest of the couple coincided with the imposition by the United Kingdom of new sanctions against three companies linked to the Board, including Sky One Construction Company, whose director is Aung Pyae Sone, son of the regime’s highest-ranking general, Min Aung Hlaing.

In July, the generals had expelled the head of the British embassy in Myanmar, Pete Vowles. It was after London demoted him from ambassador to chargé d’affaires, in an attempt to delegitimize the Burmese army’s seizure of power after the February 1, 2021 coup.

Bowman served as ambassador to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, then returned in 2013 to lead the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business, an initiative created to encourage responsible business practices. Htein Lin, for his part, is an artist and a former political prisoner imprisoned during the previous dictatorship for being part of an armed resistance group.

Lacking diplomatic ties with the West and excluded from regional summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Myanmar continues to forge closer ties with Russia, now the regime’s main arms supplier. Today, General Min Aung Hlaing landed in Moscow. According to Burmese state media, he will attend an economic summit, visit monuments, universities and factories, while other regime military officers will meet with his counterparts to “consolidate cooperation.”

Based on earlier statements, Myanmar plans to import oil from Russia to alleviate its supply problems. For its part, Moscow is looking for new trade outlets because of Western sanctions, imposed after the invasion of Ukraine.

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Written by Editor TLN

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